The Road Ahead 2019: The Smart Traveler
Mobility used to be about access to the family car. Today, with more options and technology tools, the smart phone is becoming our access to mobility. Knowing what options are within your reach and evaluating these options based on cost, time and sometimes environmental impact is making travelers wiser and more efficient about their choices. The Road Ahead brings key policy experts together with community members, elected officials, policy makers, private developers, and transportation industry leaders. The presentations elicit animated dialog from panelists and audience members who have a passion for transportation solutions.
February 28, 2019, University of Denver, Sturm Hall, 2000 E Asbury Ave, Denver, CO 80210
Consider sponsorship at:
DRCOG Citizens Academy
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is taking applications for the Spring Citizens’ Academy. This nationally recognized, seven-week course explores pressing regional issues including transportation, housing and population growth, as well as how to better engage and participate in your community. Classes are Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. April 4 – May 16 at the DRCOG office, 1001 17th Street, Denver. The deadline for applications is March 8.
Early in 2018 DRCOG assumed control and management of the Citizens’ Academy, formerly a program of Transit Alliance, and expanded the Academy focus from its foundation of transportation issues. Through the nationally recognized academy, participants learn from local experts and leaders, network with other residents and act on what they’ve learned. Since 2007, more than 800 residents from around the region have completed the Academy which has inspired dozens of participants to pursue public service in the Denver region. Numerous academy alumni have gone on to serve as elected officials, and hundreds of participants have been appointed to positions in public agencies or nonprofit organizations that shape Colorado’s future.
URBAN LAND INSTITUTE COLORADO – 2019 IMPACT AWARDS CELEBRATION
ULI Colorado’s Impact Awards recognize projects that realize ULI best practices by furthering the organization’s mission of Leadership in Responsible Land Use while also providing successful business and economic models. At ULI Colorado’s 2019 Impact Awards celebration, two individuals will be recognized for their unparalleled achievements in the land use industry. ULI Colorado’s Impact Awards are based on the ULI Awards for Excellence, the most highly respected international program of land use awards. Project award categories return as Innovation, Infill, Influence, and Inspire. Personal award categories return as the Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing a seasoned professional with 20+ years of extraordinary achievements and the Rising Star, recognizing an industry leader under 35 who has made a contribution “beyond their years.”
Thursday, April 4, 2019, 5:30 – 9 pm, Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1350 Arapahoe St.
transit & community development conference
Come together with professionals who share your dedication to transit, livability and communities. Choose from 75+ thought- and discussion-provoking workshops, ranging from cutting edge policy overviews to practical hands-on strategies. Explore real-world issues and projects across the region via our unique mobile workshops. Registration Opens May 2019
September 8-11, 2019, Vancouver, British Columbia
Mass Transit DaIly News reports that Users of Uber in Denver now have a “transit” feature on their Uber apps, allowing them to plan trips as multimodal experiences that use both ride-hailing and a bus or train operated by the Regional Transportation District. This union is made possible by transit software company Masabi, which produces “mobility-as-a-service” solutions for its transit clients. Uber and RTD will soon allow for riders to pay for the transit portion of the trip within the Uber app, say Masabi officials.
This partnership between mass transit and ride-hailing — in a metro region serving more than 100 million transit riders annually — is being billed as the first of its kind in the United States. Industry watchers like the American Public Transportation Association have also taken note of efforts to form partnerships among public transit and ride-hailing companies, calling to mind a number of pilot projects aimed to close the first-mile, last-mile gaps in service. However, the APTA has also stressed that public transit should remain the “mobility manager,” where multimodal trip-planning and payment services should take place.
“Uber shares many of the same goals as the cities we serve, and our team is committed to addressing the same challenges: reducing individual car ownership, expanding transportation access with more options and working with transit agencies to innovate,” said David Reich, Uber’s head of transit, in a statement.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver and its partners held a ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 29 to make the start of pilot project that will see Colorado’s first on-road autonomous vehicle shuttle operating between RTD’s 61st and Peña Park-n-Ride to the offices of Panasonic and EasyMile. Transdev will operate the EasyMile autonomous shuttle for the RTD in a new route called 61AV, serving people who park and live near the 61st and Peña commuter rail station free of charge. RTD explains the project’s main goal is to assess the viability of autonomous services in providing first and last mile connections to and from transit. The EasyMile shuttle is 100 percent electric and will operate along its route with four stops for the next four to six months.
Denver is making 5,280 B-cycle passes available to Denver residents for free to encourage new riders and increase mobility choices around the city. The passes are good for unlimited 60-minute rides during the 2019 calendar year. Public Works and Denver B-cycle seek to get these passes into the hands of Denver’s lower-income residents by reaching out to organizations that support underserved communities. Denver residents can visit B-cycle’s website to claim one of the 5,280 free access passes that will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals will be required to show proof of Denver residency.
Streetsblog reported that Chariot, the startup Denver hired recently to enhance the city’s transportation options, has shut down. The Ford-owned company halted U.S. operations on Feb. 1. It’s an embarrassing end to a service that, just two months ago, was enthusiastically hyped by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who launched a pilot program with the company to provide rides in and around downtown, Capitol Hill and the Cherry Creek district.
“[The Regional Transit District] is the foundation of our mass transit system and does a fantastic job, but we can’t sit back and expect RTD to solve all our transportation problems,” Hancock said in a statement back in October.
Denver planned to invest $250,000 in the pilot program after RTD planned several recent service cuts. The University of Denver also used the company to offer subsidized transit service to its students and staff. The two-month-old pilot was off to a good start, said Stuart Anderson, executive director of Transportation Solutions, a foundation that promotes transportation alternatives in Southeast Denver and the Cherry Creek area.
“We’re quite disappointed,” Anderson said. “Our pilot at DU was tremendously successful and our pilot at Cherry Creek was growing.”
Ford purchased Chariot in 2016, one of many moves that appeared to show the company’s interest in mobility options beyond cars. But earlier this week, Ford also dropped its bike-sharing sponsorship, which emblazoned its logo on bikes in San Francisco. Chariot was also operating in New York; Seattle; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin.
Anderson also said, “We’ve been contacted by seven vendors who were interested in taking over the pilot, but none have the capitalization and operational experience with micro-transit to offer something similar. Therefore, the city decided not to continue as is. The city has invited us to submit a proposal on how to use the remaining funds for a pilot of a different nature, most likely flexible vanpooling.
How did we perform? It ended too soon to have definitive data. We had 117 people who used our service, which is less than desired, but we had 776 app downloads. Further investigation led to the conclusion that people were interested in the service and that the marketing (especially digital) was working but the product wasn’t matching needs. Overwhelmingly people asked for 6-day service and we were prepared to launch it on January 14, just after Ford declared Chariot’s closure.
A few lessons learned: nearly half of the riders would have made the trip by car alone or Uber/Lyft/Taxi, and one fifth would have used RTD; using loading zones for passenger pick up and drop off was difficult in that trucks were often parked there during day time hours; customers liked the smaller buses and the personal touch of a friendly driver who could help people on and off the vehicle.
Separately, the DU pilot which started on July 8, 2018 did have enough time to measure performance. Ridership in the end exceeded expectations. DU is seeking to replace their service with something similar. We continue to assist them in this pursuit. And once approved for release, we can provide the DU data and overall findings.
I would like to provide a special thank you to our Mayor, Michael Hancock and Councilmembers New and Susman; Cindy Patton and Stephen Rijo from Denver PW; and all staff from Cherry Creek North BID who helped with marketing, meetings and local support. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the support of the CC Shopping Center in allowing us to load and unload on shopping center property.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced that Quiet Zones will be established on the University of Colorado A Line starting March 1. RTD received approvals from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on a waiver for constant warning times at the nine crossings in Denver. Additionally, the City and County of Denver has filed the Notice of Establishment for quiet zones – the formal process required by the FRA before quiet zones can be implemented. These two actions together pave the way for quiet zones. RTD, FRA and the City of Aurora continue to work through the process for establishing quiet zones on the two remaining crossings along the University of Colorado A Line located in Aurora.
RTD also received approval for extended testing on the G Line that will help the agency certify positive train control (PTC), which is required on commuter rail lines. The G Line was also added to the existing long-term waiver from the FRA for the University of Colorado A Line and B Line. These represent substantial landmarks in the approval process, which includes several additional steps at both the federal and state levels leading up to RTD opening the G Line for service. RTD is the first transit agency in the country to implement PTC from the ground up, which is laying the groundwork for how the transit industry will implement this cutting edge technology moving forward.
RTD is now offering the 3-hour pass and monthly passes along with day passes on its Mobile Tickets app. The Mobile Tickets app lets you buy the fare product you need anytime from anywhere. Simply download the app on your Apple or Android mobile device and bypass the line, avoid a stop at a ticket vending machine, and stop worrying about having exact change.
Colorado Community Land Trust Breaks Ground on Rowhomes in Lowry Construction of 14 rowhomes on East Archer Drive is underway. These two- and three-bedroom homes are anticipated to be affordably priced from $158,000 to $179,000. Occupancy is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020 and will be determined via lottery. Qualified candidates will be invited to group informational meetings starting in late February where they’ll learn more about site plans, the affordable housing program and instructions on entering the lottery.
Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman announced that the Denver Planning Board is hosting a listening session for community members to share their thoughts about the most recent public review drafts of Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver. The event will give the public an opportunity to offer comments directly to board members ahead of the public hearing scheduled for March.
Wednesday, February 27 from 4-7 pm, Wellington Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave, Room 4.G.2-4.F.6
Broadcast live: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-marketing-and-media-services/denver-8.html
Comprehensive Plan 2040: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denveright/comprehensive-plan.html
Game Plan for a Healthy City https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denveright/parks-recreation.html